Crochet Pattern books flooded from publishers after Mrs
Gaugain's first efforts. Some writers began with exhortations to virtue. All
claimed to be clear and easy to follow; except where they specifically inserted
Many difficulties arose from not giving unique and uniform
names to stitches. And several authors got tangled up in their own verbosity.
Not all the writing is grammatically correct.
Authors still included general information within specific
patterns, and expected their readers to know this information in later or
Already we find evidence of borrowing between crochet
authors, but I cannot tell who is the original, since the time between writing
and publication is an unknown variable.
Tambour disappears, except as an editing error.
In 1843 Miss Watts published
Selections of Knitting, Netting, & Crochet Work.
These selections came from at least two earlier publications.
The items are made with a crochet-needle and wool or silk.
The publication jumps directly into a crochet pattern without
any preliminary discussion.
This pattern gets all of its interest from varying the texture.
It describes how to make single crochet and muffatee stitches. (In
1843 you would know what a muffatee is.) It implies that you know how to make a
chain stitch and to make your stitches into the upper edge or side of a
Single Crochet Stitch.
Shades of German Wool are the prettiest
With a good-sized ivory crochet-needle, make a chain of
50 loops, place the first stitch behind the last, pass your
needle through it, put your wool round the your needle and pull it
through both stitches, this will join the two ends together,
then pass your needle through the next stitch, catch the wool on your needle, pull it through the stitch and through the loop on your needle;
continue the same round and round, varying the shades, until your
muffatee is two inches deep, then begin the following pattern:
The only difference between this stitch and the
previous one is, that instead of passing your needle through the upper edge
or side of the stitch, you pass it through the under one. This is the stitch
generally used for mittens, baby's shoes...
Finish your muffatee with an equal depth of the first
of crochet work depends on its being done evenly, and the loops not drawn too
As you can see from the
pattern, she sometimes defined a stitch within the pattern.
Unlike modern patterns, this
one does not begin with a description of how many colors of yarn to use. Until
you reach the end of the first section of the pattern, you do not know you
should use more than one color. As a
matter of fact, Miss Watts doesn't tell what you are making until the second
paragraph of the pattern
As well as describing the Muffatee stitch, she
prescribes where it should be generally used. The difference
between a single and a muffatee stitch is where each stitch is made, in the
front or back loop.
Miss Watts begins the fashion of using Pattern to refer
to a section of the entire pattern.
Finally, this patterns ends with prescribing how crochet should
be done, evenly...and not drawn too tight. Of course you read the pattern
Before the next pattern, she describes how to form the
Double Crochet stitch:
Begin as in single crochet; when you have pulled the
silk or wool through the foundation stitch, keep it on your needle so as to
have two stitches, catch the silk at the back (without passing your needle
through any loop or stitch), and pull the silk through both the stitches on
your needle, by this, you do two rounds at once.
This stitch is very pretty for bags: the foundation
should be a chain of from 80 to 120 stitches.
This is a very (almost overly) detailed description of how to
make a stitch. It is also a sketchy pattern for a bag.
Miss Watts shows a very limited appreciation of the potential
of crochet when she claims the double crochet is a way of making two
rounds at once. So far we have only chain, single, muffatee, and double
stitches. And that is as far as she goes in this volume, making no mention of
those new-fangled treble and half-treble stitches.
By 1849, in
The Fourth Series
Mlle Riego began abbreviating
her prefix Mdlle.
The book began with the following warning:
The Collar Designs are registered under the Act.
5 & 6 VICT, cap. 100
Ladies are respectfully informed that these
articles cannot be purchased without the registered mark being affixed; and
parties wishing to manufacture them for the purposes of sale, must have the
Mlle Riego made and sold many items from her published patterns
and she wanted to protect her profits.
Although she referred her readers to the earlier series for
definitions and explanations, she did point out All stitches
that are not made in the chain are to be worked in
Double Crochet ie. through both loops of the stitch.
Joined motifs formed the collars. The leaves were very similar,
but the flowers were quite different. In these patterns, the long joins were
stems for the flowers and leaves. Their instructions are generally exact as to
stitch counts and where they connect to the flowers.
The first pattern for the first collar begins with directions
for some shamrocks and leaves and their stems then:
Le Bouquet De Fleurs
Work 6 plain down the stem, and for the
Calyx and First Flower
turn, miss 1, 8 plain,
turn, work 1 chain to cross the stem, and on the other
side work 2 plain, 5 treble, 1 plain, 7 chain, 1 single stitch at the point,
turn back, and work 16 plain in the 7 chain, turn back ; (7 chain, miss 1, and 1
plain on the 16 plain 8 times), turn back ; 4 chain, miss 4, 1 plain in the 7
chain, (4 chain, miss 7, and 1 plain in the 7 chain 7 times), 4 chain, miss 4,
1 plain on the 1st stitch of the calyx, turn back ; miss 1,
(1 plain, and 3 treble in the 4 chain, join it to the 3d division
of open space of the large leaf, always counting from the
point ; then 3 treble 1 plain, these 8 stitches are all worked in the same 4
chain), miss 1, (1 plain, 6 treble and 1 plain in the next 4 chain), miss 1, (1
plain, 6 treble and 1 plain in the 4 chain), miss 1, (1 plain, 3 treble then 3
treble, 1 plain, these 8 stitches in the same 4 chain), miss 1, (1 plain, 6
treble and 1 plain in the 4 chain) (miss 1, 1 plain, 6 treble and 1 plain in the
4 chain 4 times);
then down the calyx, 1 plain, 5 treble 2 plain, 4 plain
down the stem
(end of pattern)
The instructions for the flower were broken with instructions
for joins to the existing stems and leaves
So you can see how the rows fit together, I have graphed each
in a different color.
Mrs Savage, 1847
The crochet section
The elementary stitch
of this fascinating accomplishment being now so generally known, and withal so
universally practised, we have not thought it necessary to go into minute
details of its formation; seeing, also, that the novice might, by five
minutes' exercise with any one possessing a knowledge of its mysteries,
obtain more real information than from the most elaborately written
Mrs Savage seems to be
saying a teacher will be more valuable
to you than her written instructions. The reason for the
omission is longer than what was omitted, but it is
The pattern writer's
technique of hiding general information inside a pattern is an old one, and
practiced into the 21st
find another bag pattern with vital information:
A Very Pretty Evening Bag.
For which 6
skeins shaded Crochet
silk, and 2 reels Gold
Twist, are required.
Make a chain of 84
stitches. Join it, and work (B) 11 rows
plain double crochet.* 1
row of the same stitch, and 2 rows single open with gold. Repeat from
(B). Working 3 broad bands
in shaded silk, with 2 divisions of open crochet in gold.
Crochet up the bottom. ...
* Having made the chain, keep 1 loop on the crochet,
pass the crochet through the next loop of the chain. You have now 2 loops on the
crochet. Catch the silk again and draw it through these 2. This is the ordinary
Once again Mrs Savage
has a footnote in the pattern, defining the ordinary crochet stitch,
otherwise known to her as a double stitch. Fortunately, there is no longer an
ordinary stitch for crochet.
She has adopted a
convention of using capital letters inside parentheses for repeat